The Crown Estate Concludes Celtic Sea Habitats Regulations Assessment


The Crown Estate has concluded its Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA), covering the three Celtic Sea Project Development Areas (PDAs) being made available through the Round 5 leasing process for commercial-scale floating wind farms.

The HRA concluded that protected environmental sites will not be adversely affected by the test and demonstration projects, or the development related to the leasing process, and so will move forward with both. 

The Round 5 leasing process is due to get under way later this month, with three sites having a combined capacity of up to 4.5 GW being auctioned. The HRA will shape developers’ activity and direct them to undertake specific measures to mitigate the impact of their construction on birds and other marine wildlife. 

“Round 5 is set to see a new technology deployed at commercial scale for the first time in a new location, and this sense of innovation runs through our approach to the whole leasing round,” says The Crown Estate’s Olivia Thomas. 

“This includes carrying out the vital work on a Plan-Level HRA at this early stage, which not only underlines our responsibility to protect and preserve important marine habitats, but gives developers clarity over what will be expected of them as they prepare for the tender process.  We are grateful for the input and challenge we have received from all those involved in reaching this point, which marks an important milestone as we write the next exciting chapter for the UK’s world-leading offshore energy industry.” 

Once the leasing process has been concluded, further assessment of the potential environmental interactions of each project will be undertaken as part of the development consenting process. 

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